Upon learning your fantasy football league carries point-per-reception scoring, you should immediately re-align your draft philosophy. Rule No. 1 in winning says to extract the most upside from your scoring system, after all.
The variance in valuation offered between standard scoring and PPR isn't quite as prominent in the elite positional tiers, at least those defined by Average Draft Position. Sure, Wes Welker shows more dominance in PPRs, but his typical placement doesn't vary all that much in standard parties.
Being in a reception-rewarding format, however, might change some of your priorities as you work your way deeper into your pick 'em. For example, you'd prefer having Jeremy Maclin in a PPR but might want to take the risk on grabbing DeSean Jackson first in normal combinations because of his big-play ability.
One-dimensional rumblers who aren't in on many passing downs, like Michael Turner, won't be as helpful in reception-registering formats and are therefore, all things equal, downgraded as opposed to the likes of, say, Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson or Ahmad Bradshaw.
Player touches don't translate as directly to more points in non-PPRs - many catch compilers can't break big plays and therefore often fail to deliver bigger payoffs in yardage-oriented leagues. The fact that every catch counts makes it more imperative to focus on the players that will touch the ball as often as possible. Targets and totes accentuate the boost that PPR gives.
Targets and touches
Not-so-explosive players look a little more attractive through PPR goggles. Increased work augments value in any situation, but the statistical impact is more drastic in PPRs compared to non- with those instant points. The more times they're sought out by their slinger, the more chances they'll get to record that elusive point for each snare.
Pegging how frequently a receiving option will be targeted - based on past tendencies and informed estimations of future involvement - is a solid tiebreaker in deciding between two different PPR commodities, during a draft or during a free-agent pickup period.
As we've seen, explosive wideouts don't necessarily have to be the most targeted to finish among fantasy football's best - especially in standard scoring - but it usually helps more often to be a more frequent earner of QB attention.
Our statistics analyzer and utilization tracker offer the freedom to sort these statistics. A sample of last year's wideout leaders:
WR target leaders, Wk 1-17, 2011
* White was 2010's WR looks king, as well, with 184.
This confirms the listed bigger names here are "no duh" first- and second-rounders regardless of format. We'll be bringing you more throughout our Draft Guide on which direction players' target totals should be moving this season.
Which midrange players deserve extra attention in leagues that reward catches?
RB PPR boosts
If the Oakland Raiders don't acquire another backup running back, Mike Goodson could build on the 40 catches he etched in part-time duty for Carolina in 2010. He's not a true 180 in style from Darren McFadden, but DMC's fragility always keeps the door at least minimally ajar for the backup to take over.
Brandon Jackson is healthy and fits this West Coast outfit, but he'll need an injury from Trent Richardson to deploy his heave-hauling prowess at a rate frequent enough for fantasy owners to care. He also has, to some degree, Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya nipping at his heels for Dawg Pound touches.
WR PPR boosts
The Gronk-Graham Effect
With their standout 2011 campaigns, Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham have changed the fantasy landscape on a smaller but just as impactful manner as the wide receiver shift has caused in recent seasons.
Tight ends that reached various reception levels, 2009-2011
The speck of increase in the listed options shows the increasing importance of the tight end position in the leaguewide offensive attack.
Kellen Winslow and Tony Gonzalez are aging talents but still remain useful in snare-chronicling systems. There's a new class, however, coming to replace them as the biggest PPR pay-offs in the position's value class you can nab in the middle and late rounds:
TE PPR boosts
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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